'Parents of the Year' honored at Council meeting

DOWNEY - In observance of National Parents Day (the fourth Sunday of July), Mayor Mario Guerra, assisted by Katrin McCarthy, presided over the presentation of 2009 Parents of the Year awards to Charles and Melody Gregorio, representing Warren High School, and David Amatisto and Michelle Gill, representing Downey High School.The "outstanding" parents were cited for the "great care and commitment shown in raising their child(ren) and assisting in enriching the lives of many other children in their community." According to the proclamation, National Parents Day was unanimously established by Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1994 for the purpose of recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children. It also emphasized that, among other things, parents by their example play a crucial and important role in the development of youth. In other action, the Council: •Approved the Wireline Crossing Agreement with Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) authorizing the city to install conduits containing fiber-optic cables across the right-of-way along Paramount Boulevard underneath the railroad tracks (in the area between Firestone Boulevard and Burns Avenue), and approved the one-time license fee of $14,525 which was already prefigured in the project's construction cost, funded by Prop. C Local Return funds. In Public Works director Brian Ragland's report, the project itself, called the Paramount Blvd. Fiber Optic Communication System Project, basically consists of a communication system that will interconnect all traffic signals on Paramount Boulevard and provide two-way video and data transmission between the field and the city's Traffic Management Center located on the second floor of City Hall; •Approved a contract with overall low bidder All American Asphalt, Inc., which has successfully done similar work for the city and such other cities as West Covina, San Clemente, and Westminster, for on-call street and concrete repairs and minor public works improvement (including street, median and parkway improvement projects within public right-of-way throughout the city) for a period of one year with an option to renew for two additional years; •Approved a continuation up to Sept. 30, 2009 of a grant contract (which started in Aug. 28, 2008) with the city of Los Angeles through the Urban Area Security Initiative for training (and equipment) funds for the Downey Fire Department; •Approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) subrecipient grant agreements with the following agencies, with a combined allocation of $140,000 in CDBG funds, as follows: 1) Arc of Southeast L.A. County, $11,500-Arc has earmarked the funds to supplement a job training and employment program for persons with mental and developmental disabilities benefiting from 23 to 49 souls registered with Arc; 2) Downey Unified School District, $34,400-with $31,000 going to DUSD-supported 10-20 Club, which offers preventive and intervention activities including group support/counseling services, family counseling, and crisis intervention focusing on community youth ages between 10 and 20 years who might be "at-risk" or susceptible to street gang involvement; and $3,400 going to another DUSD-sponsored program, The True Lasting Connection (TLC) Family Resource Center, which provides health screenings and check-ups to children from low-income families; 3) Rio Hondo Temporary Home, $17,500-used for providing temporary housing to homeless families coming from a wide geographic area until they can transition back into permanent housing; some three to six disadvantaged families from Downey are expected to receive assistance under this program; 4) Southern California Rehabilitation Services (SCRS), $77,000-with $2,000 reserved for the Southeast Center for Independent Living which provides programs and services (training for independent living skills, in-home attendant registry, housing assistance, peer counseling, transportation assistance, and benefits advocacy, etc.) to an estimated 170 persons this year with physical disabilities, and $75,000 for the Home Modification Program, which would provide free home modifications (installation of wheel chair ramps, handrails, grab bars, replacement of door and faucet handles, door widening, etc.) this year to some 15-25 housing units; •By a vote of 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Anne Bayer dissenting (citing sympathy with frozen middle management position increases), adopted a resolution creating class specifications and establishing enhanced salary ranges for Budget analyst and Fire Prevention Technician, and increasing the salary range for the existing position of Finance Director justified, so the reasoning and sentiment went, by the assumption of additional substantive functions normally performed by the departing asst. city manager; •Adopted a resolution approving the location and appearance of the signs within a multi-tenant commercial shopping center on property located at 9200-9250 Lakewood Blvd. and 9009-9027 Gallatin Rd., reflecting its approval to provide six tenant panels on the proposed freestanding signs for the shopping center instead of the four four originally endorsed by the Planning Commission; •Adopted an ordinance amending Section 3155.2 of the Downey Municipal Code to add angled parking on Clark Avenue between James Street and Lakewood Boulevard, to accommodate anticipated increased parking demands and mitigate potential parking problems in the vicinity due to the already opened Discovery Sports Complex and the Columbia Memorial Space Center which is nearing completion; total of angled parking spaces made available is 56, against only 36 parallel spaces under the old configuration; •Adopted a comprehensive update of the Zoning Code (Ch. 1-8 of Article IX of the Downey Municipal Code) and revisions to many of the development standards within the code, including the correction of typographical and grammatical errors, as well as closing loopholes within the code and correcting omissions; •Adopted an ordinance dissolving Vehicle Parking District No. l; •Approved the termination of the lease agreement for facilities and child care operation at Furman Park with the Downey Unified School District, and struck a 5-year lease agreement with the YMCA for the use of the city's portable modulars located in Furman Park for the operation of a licensed child care center. •Introduced an ordinance amending the lease with the Community Hospital Foundation, now Downey Regional Medical Center, to allow for hospital accreditation by a federal authorized accrediting body; the DRMC-preferred accrediting agency is Det Norske Veritas (DNV), in place of just the Joint Commission; and •Heard Councilman Luis Marquez present certificates of appointment to Mario Trujillo, Art in Public Places Committee; Ernest Garcia, Water Board; and Jack Horvath, Personnel Board. The next regular public meeting of the City Council will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at City Hall.

********** Published: July 31, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 15